By Casandra Rosario
The Food Network award-winning lounge celebrated five years of serving the Harlem community with a 90s themed event.
There something special about a local business that truly feels powered by the community. At the Cove Lounge in Harlem, founder Alyah Horsford-Sidberry is accomplishing just that. I had the pleasure of joining her and guests for cocktails, conversation and a complete 90s get down as they celebrated their five years in business.
The event was produced by Harlem’s own Musa Jackson with guests decked out in their best 90s gear. You could truly feel the energy of Harlem in the air. As the neighborhood is ever-changing, it’s hard not to find a place that makes you feel at home in Harlem. It was obvious from the amount of love that poured into the award-winning lounge that night, that they’ve been providing this for the community for the past five years.
The event featured hors d’oeuvres and a summer cocktail menu. I had the opportunity to check out some of the newer space renovations and to sit down with Horsford-Sidberry fir an inside look into the Cove Lounge and what the next few years will hold for them.
How does it feel for Cove to be turning 5 years old?
“It feels good. It feels great. There are some years where I’m like, ‘Oh My God, will I make it? Do I want to make it?’ But what makes me want to make it are my children and the community. Customers are always saying ‘Thank you, I come here and feel at home. I feel like I can get cute but I’m comfortable.’ So that keeps me going because it’s needed. There are very few [places] who are going to be like this and give you that feeling so that makes me want to keep going.”
Can you tell us more about the renovations in the space?
“Initially, the front parlor area was just a vacant space and I decided to extend it so people can come here to eat as well. Some people were thinking [Cove Lounge] is just for parties but no, we have great food too. So, once I opened that up and then the outside cafe, it opened the world to Cove and to people who would have never stepped in. Now they can venture to the back and have a great time.”
Where do you see Cove Lounge going next? What are you most proud of?
“What I want to do is expand Cove within the space and have retail products so we can reach outside. People still come here five years later and have a great time. We are still relevant which is something I’m proud of. The other thing is the few staff members who have been with me from day one. That brings me a lot of joy because they are team players and they support the vision which is so important because you can’t do this alone.”
Cove Lounge is the perfect place to host private events or visit after work for a few cocktails and bites with friends. Whether you live in Harlem or are just visiting, you’re guaranteed a true Harlem experience at this local staple. I wish Cove many more years of success.
Cove Lounge is located at 325 Malcolm X Blvd. New York, NY. For hours, visit https://www.covelounge.com/home.
Photo credit: Kerby Jean (MJP Paparazzi)
Casandra Rosario is the Founder + Editor in Chief at FoodBeforeLove. She’s a mimosa loving, french toast eating, Afro-Latina who can’t get enough of traveling. Find out how you can talk more wine, food and experiences with her at FoodBeforeLove.com.